Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

This Is What California Looks Like, According To A London Design Museum

LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

There's a new import at work in the London art scene: California culture.

"Californian products have affected our lives to such an extent that in some ways we are all now Californians," London's Design Museum says in the description for one of its newest exhibits, "California: Designing Freedom." The exhibit, which went up in May and will run until October, brings together a half-decade's worth of tools of the California counterculture and tech boom, "from LSD to surfboards and iPhones."

"There have been lots of shows about Californian design, but they always focus on mid-century modernism - mainly Charles and Ray Eames or the '40s and '50s. There hasn’t been a show about more recent developments, particularly in Silicon Valley," Design Museum curator Justin McGuirk told LAist. The exhibition's 300 items are grouped into five non-linear categories: "go where you want", "see what you want", "say what you want", "make what you want" and "join who you want’.

The exhibition's California-themed artifacts range from LSD blotting papers to early video game graphics to a replica of the "Captain America" motorcycle from Easy Rider. (Inexplicably, there are no In-N-Out containers on display.) Unless you can afford to fly out to London for an art crawl, check out the gallery to decide whether the Design Museum's exhibit accurately represents your California experience.